Monday, February 22, 2010

Don Shula's Quote

I found this quote from Miami Dolphin's Don Shula.

"Faith leads to patience (positive thinking and practice). When things aren't going right, patience is an energizing belief that things will eventually go your way. As a result you don't give up and start to cheat or lose control or begin to take uncalled for risk to get the result you want right now."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Transform me into the person You always knew I would become.

“So strengthen my grip of faith. Renew my hope of eternal life. Grow me into the identity that yet awaits me; transform me into the person you always knew I would become.”

These three things resonate with me today. Renew my hope of eternal life. Grow me into the identity and transform me into that person. Renew, Grow, and Transform. They are so closely related you might not see the differences. But those differences are what makes this stand out to me. Renew is, for me the process of taking something and making it fresh again. In my mind eye, I see it as spring. The earth starts a new cycle of life, every year that which died in winter is brought back to life in spring. For me this is renewal. Renew my hope. So often hope falters in daily life. I know the struggles of daily life causes me to lose hope in my dreams and visions, and that causes me to lose hope in the future and sometimes even eternal life. But this is the key; eternal life. If I am secured that it is eternal life that is the end of my struggles and something that God has ordained for me. It is the end that counts. That almost sounds like the end justifies the means.” Not true but yet very true. Not true in the use of the means, as the way to do things ether honorable or dishonorable. But true in that the path I travel to get where God wants me are always good, holy and righteous. My hope is in eternal life, my actions should then reflect that hope in my daily activities.

The second word is growth. “Grow me into the identity that yet awaits me.” Growth is about nurture. It is about giving the right care that enables someone to become more. Much like a plant grows we grow. A plant needs water, nutrition, and sun. Remove any part of that the plant will not grow. We are a bit more complicated than plants; still there are things that we need to grow. And as Ben Franklin wrote: “What does not kill, instructs.” So it is true for us, our hard times help us grow. Just as training for the marathon builds me up, I hope the same is true because of my life struggles that I am able to grow stronger in my faith. What I really like about this statement is “the identity that yet awaits me.” There is a purpose that remains unfulfilled and therefore I press on…this is critical. Christian writers and scholars stress this idea that our faith is a journey, an ongoing process. No where do we find in the Bible that once you accept Christ you are finished. But it is tjos overwhelming idea that Christ is faithful to finish what he started in us.

The final idea of transformation I quickly identify with the “Transformer Movie.” The trucks and cars become defenders of the universe in a matter of seconds. There is this transformation that is constantly being changed in us. We transform from sinner to saints in a matter of seconds, time after time to do a good work. Although we would want that change permanent, it just doesn’t stick. But for that moment when God needs us to be his hands and heart in the world we become what he knows we can be and eventually will be. Eventually the ordinary person will be transformed in to the true likeness of God.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bob Wilson, Father and Pastor...but always just "Bob"

My father who passed away over a year ago wrote the following.  As I reflect on what he said in really discribes who he was.

One morning, I went by the office of the church where I had pastored for 15 years.  There in the kitchen were a group of men from the church discussing various concerns about the church and it's place in their lives.  I sat there for a while listening to their discussion, without getting involved.  One of the men said, "I don't know what to call the new pastor."  He then turned to me and asked, "What did people call you when you were the pastor here?"

I thought about the question for a few moment and replied, "Well, when I graduated from Seminary and became a pastor of my first church, a few individuals called me 'Reverend.'  Then when I went into the Air Force some called me 'Chaplain.'  After retiring from the Air Force and coming to this church, I returned to seminary and earned my doctorate degree which gave me the privilege to put Doctor in front of my name."

There was a few minutes of silence as I continued to think about the answer.  Again the gentleman asked, "So what did the people in this church call you?" 

I said "Bob."

As I think about my Dad...yea...that was who he was to the people he served..."Bob."  I only hope I can have the same sense of service that titles never go to my head.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Stories

I've been watching the Olympics from Vancouver the last few days. As a long distance runner, I always follow those cross-country type events. I'm always inspired by the dedication and the stories of these athletes who over come hardships and challenges. It is hard not to cheer for those who are out there trying their best even if it is just them finishing the race.

The other day as I watched the women’s 10K cross country, two individuals really stood out to me. The first was the American Caitlin Compton from Minnesota who finished in 30th place doing the distance in 26:49.1. It was her first Olympic competition, but watching her finish, you could see incredible determination. I can’t wait to see what she does in 4 years. She has heart and she showed it out there on Monday.

The other was Jaqueline Mouras from Brazil…yes, Brazil…not a place I would ever think would produce Winter Olympic athletes…but there she was skiing her way to 62nd place in 30:22.2. I was so impressed and what really impressed me was my best running time for a 10K is only 36:30 something…these ladies out there in the snow were still moving a whole lot faster then I run. Okay I’m inspired…and all I can say is thanks Caitlin and Jaqueline…you two win gold medals in motivating us all.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Photos of the Snow

The snow outside the house. 
The house and yes that is about 45 inches of snow and drifts up to 50.
And this is the hill I run up everyday...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Storm #3

Okay...I get the picture.  For the past three years I've lived in Los Angeles, California and having moved cross country to Maryland...I'm paying my dues for the great weather.  But you have got to be kidding...65 inches of snow fall in just two months...talking about trashing my running.  I'm going nuts wanting to get out there to run...but the snow is over my knees and the roads have not been cleared in over a week.  Well, hopefully this snow will end tomorrow and I can get out and get back to running.